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Hilly Janes is an award-winning feature writer and editor with twenty years' experience on national quality newspapers and magazines including The Independent, The Times, Prospect, The Guardian, the Daily Telegraph, The Observer and the Financial Times. Daughter of the artist Alfred Janes, Hilly was born on the Gower Peninsula; the landscape of rural south-west Wales and Swansea evoked so beautifully in Thomas's work were those of her own childhood. Today, Hilly lives with her husband and two teenage children in north London, where she works as a freelance journalist, author, media consultant and events organiser.
"Hilly Janes writes on Dylan as if he was a great family friend - which indeed he was. This is no fusty academic study written at a remove, but a thoroughly readable, wise and funny insight into one of Britain's most celebrated twentieth-century writers." ROSIE MILLARD "4/5 [I]t reveals tiny human details that bring him to life in a way more academic biographers would give their eye teeth for... through this highly personal and affectionate book you will come to see this troubled beguiling man as his friends did." Daily Express " "[An] engaging, accessible biography...The book is at its best when grounding and humanising the man, stripping away some of the layers of myth, and placing him among friends, allowing us to see him as Janes's father saw him." Natasha Tripney, The Observer "[I]t is a reminder that the point about Thomas was not his chaotic life but his luminous talent." Daisy Goodwin, Sunday Times "Hilly Janes has written the best of the many books about Dylan Thomas which I have read." Allan Massie, The Scotsman "What makes this book so readable is the fact that it offers rather more than Dylan Thomas and his insalubrious escapades... Her analysis of his literary legacy is deft, but almost the most delightful thing about this book is its tribute to her talented father, who died in 1999 and was clearly a man of integrity." Bel Mooney, Daily Mail "Brisk and sympathetic, its greatest interest is its account of Thomas' posthumous legend." The Tablet "5/5 Drawing on a vast personal archive and interviews with friends and relatives, this portrayal goes beyond the stereotype of the boisterous Swansea swaggerer." The Lady "He was half stifled by his own mythography - This is why it is helpful to have a memoir like Hilly Janes: Thomas becomes human again, not a doomed Dionysus." New Statesman "The Three Lives of Dylan Thomas is a great read. It doesn't pull any punches when it comes to his complex life with his wife - Loved it." Britmums "No-one is likely to publish a biography of Thomas demonstrating that he was a monogamous and placid soul who could hold his drink and manage his money. But Janes simply sets him in the context of a group of variously gifted Welsh friends - and gives some sense of how and why - exasperating as he undoubtedly was - he retained their love and (intermittently) tolerance." Dr Rowan Williams, Wales Online "[An] attractive and level-headed book." Round House Poetry Circle "Although uncritical, Hilly's honest account of Dylan's life gives us a captivating picture of a flawed genius. She captures the thoughtfulness below the flamboyance." Absolutely Chelsea "A marvellous, intimate portrait of Dylan - Hilly's generous personality infuses the pages and makes them come alive like a latterday Milk Wood. Hilly has produced a book of warmth and great integrity, bringing new light to a subject that has almost been over exposed. A huge bonus is the introduction to a whole a new audience, of the wonderful work of her father, Alfred Janes." Camden Review "Janes's daughter, Hilly, delves beneath the conventional image of Thomas as the irresponsible and inebriated Welshman, to reveal a more complicated individual, and is the first to examine in full the effect his death, aged just 39 had on his family." Good Book Guide